President Donald Trump excoriated his pending impeachment in the House of Representatives in a six-page letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi that reads in part: “More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.”
Trump’s letter breaks little new substantive ground. It stands, instead, as bilious presidential rant, dedicating Trump’s longstanding grievances over impeachment to the written page. “I write to express my strongest and most powerful protest against the partisan impeachment crusade,” it begins, before revealing how personally Trump is taking this constitutional rebuke: “You have cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!”
Written as though stitched together from drafts of tweets — “It is a terrible thing you are doing, but you will have to live with it, not I!” — the letter does not contend much with the evidence marshaled against him by the House, that he withheld military aide from Ukraine while seeking political favors from that country, or that he stonewalled congressional investigators, refusing to comply with lawful subpoenas issued in the course of the House’s “sole power” of impeachment.
Instead, Trump calls the “Abuse of Power” impeachment charge “a completely disingenuous, meritless and baseless invention of your imagination,” defending his call with Ukraine’s president as “totally innocent.” Trump likewise deems the “Obstruction of Congress” charge “preposterous and dangerous.”
True to form, Trump projects charges of wrongdoing onto Democrats — asserting Joe Biden abused his power as vice president in his dealings with Ukraine, and that House Democrats are abusing their power by not letting the courts adjudicate whether the executive branch should comply with impeachment proceedings. It is, in essence, the No-Puppet-You’re-the-Puppet defense. “You are the ones interfering in America’s elections,” Trump writes. “You are the ones subverting America’s Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain.”
The Trump letter then veers into material from his stump speeches — bragging about his “Electoral College landslide” his jobs-creation record, low unemployment for African Americans, and the creation of the Space Force — before pivoting to his conspiracy theory about the “FBI’s horrifying abuses of power . . . including the use of spies against my campaign.”
The president’s rant reaches a crescendo when Trump blasts the impeachment “hoax” an “illegal, partisan attempted coup” and insists that the American people “will not soon forgive your perversion of justice and abuse of power.”
Read the letter in full, embedded below: